Monday, December 15, 2008

Farväl Annika.

It's arguable that Annika Sorenstam is the best woman golfer of all time given the time she played in and the level of international competition. What's certain is that as great a golfer she is, she's an even better person.

Her career came to an "end" yesterday at the Dubai Ladies Masters on the Ladies European Tour, fittingly the organization she started her career with. Her 1 under 71 gave her 7th place in the event she'd won twice previously. The golf gods deemed it necessary that she birdie her final hole. She acknowledged the crowd, then hugged her long time looper Terry McNamara. “I have had many farewells since I announced my decision some five months back, but this one was special,” Sorenstam said.

Her career achievements are a longer read than War and Peace. 10 major championships, 59 LPGA victories, 16 additional international wins, a 59 in an LPGA event, and member of the Hall of Fame. All of this in a few short years since her pro debut in 1994. Surely her numbers would have only increased should she not have "retired". After all, she won three times this year and is among the top players in almost every statistical category. At age 38 she definitely has great years left as Julie Inkster and Vijay Singh have proven.

The tease is her not actually using the word retirement. Her desire to start a family and tend to her business interests is understandable. Let's assume she and fiance Mike McGee are off to a fast start and the little girl/boy arrives about a year from now. Allow a year to get the new one off to a great start and we could be seeing the reemergence of Annika in the spring of 2011. Just in time to remind the likes of Wie, Tseng, Creamer, Lewis, and Shin who is the rightful throne holder. Musings? Certainly, but possible. If not, relish the memories this great lady has given us over the years.

Til' next,


  1. And finally the curtain comes down, rather quickly for our liking, on a wonderful career. The Swede had waltzed into everyone’s heart with the weight of her performance and that disarming smile. And the figures cannot be ignored. Like you point out, 10 majors, 59 LPGA tour wins and countless other wins surely does sound like the profile of a golfer par excellence. I would perhaps go as far as to say, she gave women’s golf as much fillip as Babe Zaharias back in the 1930s.

    Unfortunately, she could not finish her glorious career with a win, something that she threatened to do, albeit momentarily after the second round but then not all stories are scripted to perfection, but if anything this was as close as it gets to it.

    The biggest letdown I feel is the fact that the stage was set for a wonderful duel with the reigning queen on tour, Lorena Ochoa, and with someone like Michelle Wie showing signs of making on impact on the professional circuit after sorting herself out, it was an exciting prospect for the LPGA. But I guess so many years on the road does take it away from the player and after achieving almost everything that there is to achieve, one can understand why she decided to quit.

    Play well.

    Andy Brown

  2. Hatter,

    You're not alone. She rescued women's golf IMHO.